A weblog to have fun World Menopause Day 2023


Right this moment, 18th October 2023, is World Menopause Day. It’s the now annual dialogue on the impression that menopause has for the person within the office, within the household and in our communities.

Final 12 months some colleagues and I ran a workshop on the 2022 BASW occasion ‘Altering the Change’, and the earlier 12 months I teamed up with Siobhan McLean and colleagues with my very own private A-Z of menopause and ladies’s well being extra typically.  So, this 12 months I believed that a great way to mark the day and do one thing a bit of totally different to traditional, I’d make a bit of go to to the woodland to speak menopause with fellow elves of all descriptions.

If you go down to the woods today… you’ll find a group of menopausal elves discussing what works for them

When you go right down to the woods at the moment… you’ll discover a group of menopausal elves discussing what works for them

Doing a bit of search throughout the same old databases I got here up with a handful of papers, all within the final 12 months which thought of the menopause expertise, and so over the following couple of days we will likely be highlighting among the key findings and discussions and occupied with what these would possibly imply for social care and social work. It’s a huge topic with growing controversies within the discussions round it and we’re seeing points comparable to equality, variety and intersectionality inflicting tensions between totally different curiosity teams. We’ll discover a few of these points this week, however we’re beginning with a scientific assessment to ease us in gently.

It’s not the primary time menopause has been an evidence-based apply weblog topic, as my woodland cousin jogged my memory once we have been speaking about this sequence. @SarahChapman30 over on the Evidently Cochrane blogs, ran a sequence first printed in 2015, and final up to date in 2022, taking a look at totally different experiences on the menopause from totally different visitor bloggers, nicely value a glance should you haven’t found these already).

The primary paper this elf chosen was not for any scientific purpose aside from it talked about what labored in addition to what the expertise was, and I used to be involved in what it needed to say.

Whereas printed in a well being journal relatively than a social care one, it’s typically value exploring the literature past your individual self-discipline on the subject of points comparable to this. Attention-grabbing papers are cross-disciplinary, and this one was chosen as a result of it was a assessment of the obtainable proof relatively than a small qualitive research. For these of you that don’t reside and breathe these items, a scientific assessment is a complete and methodical literature assessment which makes use of repeatable strategies to search out, choose and synthesise the obtainable proof. It goals to reply a particular analysis query and states the tactic used to get to that reply. Within the case of this paper by Rodrigo and colleagues (2023) the purpose is to ‘describe the vary and effectiveness of workplace-based interventions for menopause’ and it considers the obtainable proof in relation to the three of the commonest interventions recognized – self-help CBT, Raja Yoga and Well being Promotion.

It’s value remembering that menopause understanding and the research inspecting it are comparatively new, and contemplating it throughout the office, together with the idea that employers have a accountability to assist these experiencing it are much more latest. Due to this there may be loads of opinion and expertise items printed, however a little bit of a spot by way of sturdy analysis within the space (cue an entire mutter about ladies’s well being not being taken significantly or given as a lot precedence or emphasis as different areas of drugs, however that’s a dialogue for an additional day).

Opinion and experience pieces are commonly published, but what works to support women to manage symptoms (or even to take them seriously) are a little vague.

Opinion and expertise items are generally printed, however what works to assist ladies to handle signs (and even to take them significantly) are a bit of obscure.


The researchers set out their search technique and strategies clearly throughout the paper, figuring out the databases used, the date ranges that have been utilized, and the important thing phrases used to look. To be included within the assessment, the research wanted to look at interventions aimed toward enhancing bodily or psychological wellbeing, occupational outcomes, or consciousness and attitudes amongst individuals, with major outcomes being wellbeing, secondary outcomes office/job primarily based, and the third referring to office cultures.

From an preliminary research pattern of 952 outcomes, papers have been reviewed firstly for relevance and duplicates, lowering the choice to 79 papers. Subsequent the picks have been reviewed by their abstracts, which decreased the quantity to 11 on which a full textual content assessment was accomplished by two researchers. Of those 11, one other 6 have been excluded as they didn’t meet the factors to be included (i.e., the research didn’t discover workplace-based interventions for menopause). The ultimate choice included 5 papers which included 354 individuals, 293 ladies in menopause, and 61 managers/supervisors. The research have been screened for high quality in addition to relevance, and the 5 papers have been then used to generate a story synthesis of the findings and outcomes.

The research included one was in Brazil (Raja Yoga), two within the UK (CBT & Well being Promotion), one in Eritrea (Well being Promotion), and one within the Netherlands (Well being Promotion). This tells us that it it is a topic that’s being studied internationally, however that there are totally different approaches getting used somewhere else. From a social care perspective, you will need to take into consideration not simply what would possibly work to enhance the signs for a person, but in addition the context by which totally different interventions would possibly work and the forms of attitudes and beliefs are connected to the expertise of menopause in several environments.

Attitudes and awareness in the workplace are attached to the experience of menopause for those experiencing symptoms. Context is important.

Attitudes and consciousness within the office are connected to the expertise of menopause for these experiencing signs. Context is essential.


The researchers recognized that the 2 research that use randomised managed trials supplied probably the most sturdy proof however that there’s additionally essential studying throughout the non-randomized and qualitative research.

The three intervention varieties all confirmed enchancment in participant self-reported signs. Self-help CBT was recognized as the best assist for presenteeism within the office and the research included recognized it as the one intervention resulting in optimistic work outcomes. From the opposite two forms of interventions included within the assessment, Yoga was proven to enhance self-rated wellbeing amongst individuals inside one research, and well being promotion and consciousness programmes in two of the included research proven to enhance data and attitudes of each the person and their colleagues in the direction of symptom administration within the office.


All the intervention types showed improvement in self-reported symptoms, but self-help CBT was identified as the most effective tool to support presenteeism in the workplace.

All of the intervention varieties confirmed enchancment in self-reported signs, however self-help CBT was recognized as the best device to assist presenteeism within the office.


The researchers conclude that while there’s a lack of proof at present printed trying particularly at interventions and their effectiveness, from those who have so-far been examined CBT seems to be the one which exhibits probably the most promise, concluding that:

“This assessment helps self-help CBT as an intervention that may be employed at work settings to alleviate menopausal signs and to enhance work outcomes… [and] was recognized as the one intervention resulting in beneficial work outcomes.” (Rodrigo et al, 2023; p.105)

Strengths & Limitations

The researchers establish a number of limitations within the methodology of each their very own assessment, and likewise within the obtainable literature extra typically. When ranking the included papers, the research used the Down’s & Black (1998) device which makes use of sure/no inquiries to price the research in 5 areas and supply a remaining rating. The areas thought of embody – high quality, validity, bias, choice bias and energy of the research. It’s the same device to those we use down within the woodland from the essential appraisal expertise programme (CASP) to evaluate the validity and reliability of analysis papers we embody on this, and the opposite woodland blogs.  From the 5 research that have been lastly included, they scored between 13 – 20 out of 27, with the 2 randomised managed trials scoring larger however not with the ability to cut back bias or use ‘blinded’ strategies to realize higher validity.  What we don’t know from the proof introduced is whether or not demographics, forms of workplaces and the impression a spread of social components (age, race, gender, sexuality, disabilities) may need on the expertise for the person involved (we’ll be coming again to this in tomorrow’s weblog for these of you who’re within the discussions and debates about intersectionality and the menopause expertise).

One of many key limitations of this assessment is that the research included within the assessment will not be constant within the content material of interventions or what they have been measuring. A number of of the research examined self-help, specializing in how the lady feels about and manages her personal signs within the office, which could be topic to a variety of variables and influences (together with the attitudes of these round her each at work and at dwelling) and all three used self-report measures of various variations. These variations imply that validity and reliability of the findings will not be constant throughout the included research, and this may increasingly (or might not) impression upon how findings and outcomes are reported and introduced.

Regardless of the constraints, this assessment is useful because it exhibits us what the gaps within the analysis in addition to an outline of the findings of the restricted variety of research which were carried out thus far.

Implications for Follow

One of many explanation why this research is related is that we all know that menopause signs can have an effect on our potential to operate, and we have to maintain speaking about it and occupied with how we assist individuals to handle their very own well being and wellbeing within the office setting. Cognitive Behavioural Remedy (CBT) is among the authorities’s favorites and is a part of the NICE steerage – it’s low cost, simple to ship on mass (particularly when self-help is the supply mechanism) and has been proven to be efficient for an entire vary of signs and situations. Is it one of the best ways to handle menopause signs? For some issues sure it will possibly and may make a distinction (as can Yoga as this paper suggests); nonetheless there isn’t any such factor as a one-size matches all menopause, and so all of the choices should be a part of the toolkit.

So, why does it matter for social care?

It issues as a result of… a major quantity of the workforce are ladies, and we’re an ageing inhabitants, so a number of us are menopausal. For instance, latest workforce surveys place the typical age of an grownup social employee at 45, with between 70% and 81% of the workforce figuring out as feminine (LGA, 2023; Expertise for Care, 2023), that’s a major quantity of most social care groups.

It issues as a result of… it’s estimated that round 13 million individuals are at present peri menopausal or menopausal within the UK (NHSE 2022), that’s a 3rd of the feminine inhabitants and a major proportion of each the workforce and the individuals accessing social care companies…

It issues as a result of… menopause signs can mess up your bodily and psychological well being, and each staff and people accessing social care companies might be impacted by signs that may make you’re feeling such as you aren’t dealing with day by day duties and your physique is now not following the directions you’re giving it.

It issues as a result of… whether or not it’s the horror of sizzling flushes in the course of a gathering, or adverts for Tena woman on the telly (**different ‘bladder weak point’ aids can be found) which can be a bit of too shut for consolation some days, disgrace and embarrassment accompany being menopausal for a lot of ladies.

It issues as a result of…while you would possibly have the ability to CBT your manner into optimistic considering, what you may’t all the time do is change the signs or the impression they will have in your day-to-day life. The research recognized appear to assist the thought of the issue being positioned within the lady, relatively than within the office context by which she is working. Usually the one factor you are able to do is change your response to the signs once they occur, and so whereas it’s progress that we will say a few of this outloud, I personally nonetheless assume we’re a good distance from menopause being one thing aside from a ‘lady’s downside’.

Total, this research exhibits that the proof about managing menopausal signs in a office setting continues to be very poor, specializing in ‘fixing’ the lady and ‘instructing her’ to handle her personal signs relatively than taking a societal or systemic view of how we might higher method or reply to the menopause extra typically.  As a menopausal elf I don’t want fixing, however I do want to have the ability to write myself post-it notes so I bear in mind issues and open the window with out having to justify my physique temperature or take care of ‘lady of a sure age’ cracks from others, neither of that are huge asks within the scheme of issues absolutely, and neither of which I can obtain by self-help CBT.

Conflicts of Curiosity

None (until being a menopausal elf counts as a battle of curiosity).


Main Paper:

Rodrigo, C.H., Sebire, E., Bhattacharya, S., Paranjothy, S., & Black, M. (2023) “Effectiveness of workplace-based interventions to advertise wellbeing amongst menopausal ladies: A scientific assessment.” Submit Reproductive Well being, 29 (2), 99-108.

Different References:

Downs, S.H. & Black, N (1998) “The feasibility of making a guidelines for the evaluation of the methodological high quality each of randomized and non-randomised research of well being care interventions.” J Epidemiol Group Well being, 52, 377-384.

LGA (2023) Menopause Factfile [Online], Accessed 16/10/2023. Out there at: https://www.native.gov.uk/our-support/workforce-and-hr-support/wellbeing/menopause/menopause-factfile

NHS England (2022) Menopause within the office. [Online], Accessed 17/10/2023. Out there at: https://www.interact.england.nhs.uk/safety-and-innovation/menopause-in-the-workplace/

NICE (2015; up to date 2019) Menopause: Prognosis & Administration. NICE Guideline [NG23] [Online], Accessed 17/10/2023. Out there at: https://www.good.org.uk/steerage/NG23

Expertise for Care (2023) “The State of the grownup social care sector and workforce in England” [Online], Accessed 17/10/2023. Out there at: https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Grownup-Social-Care-Workforce-Knowledge/Workforce-intelligence/publications/national-information/The-state-of-the-adult-social-care-sector-and-workforce-in-England.aspx

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